Time for Outcome-based Digital Education System In India, says EdTech entrepreneur,

In view of the situation, edu-entrepreneurs and edu-tech firms have been rethinking digital pedagogy in increasingly innovative ways to introduce engaging and outcome-based learning amongst students.

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Time for Outcome-based Digital Education System In India, says EdTech entrepreneur,

Malini Subrahmaniam

The past year and half has been a period of realization in terms of the sustainability,inclusivity and outcome of our current education system.As the pandemic made it compulsory for students to resort to digital medium medium to continue their education that in turn shed light on the stark reality to the unsustainable nature to our current education system.As digital divide hindered from digital education being real to many. This digital divide is due to multiple factors relating to access, devices, content, curation, teachers, training, digital literacy,funding, facilities etc. There is also the additional factor that the current digital pedagogy and the content fails to engage the students therefore hindering actual uptake of the imparted knowledge.

In the view of the situation edu-entrepreneurs and edu-tech firms have been rethinking digital pedagogy in increasingly innovative ways to introduce engaging and outcome-based learning amongst students. The Policy Times in a bid to obtain more thorough understanding of the new innovations for engaging  and comprehensive pedagogy to achieve holistic development of student folks brings a conversation with EdTech Entrepreneur Mrs. Malini Subrahmaniam, Chairman & Managing Director, Synergy Images Pvt. Ltd., and simple learning Pvt. Ltd. companies which provide dynamic technical services , creative and engaging content and teachers training for digital literacy.

Mrs.Malini tell us a bit about yourself and what led you to become an edu-preneur?

I had a diverse professional experience of more than two and a half decades varying from teacher, writer, author and then acreative professional. However, the majority of my experience and time has been spent in the training arena. My vast experience through years led me to bring an innovation into the education sector. Synergy Images and its group company, Simple Learning Pvt. Ltd.brought in a unique solutionwith an aim to reduce the digital divide and provide training to teachers to become “digital-ready teachers” very quickly.

How do you see the dynamics of education changing in India in recent years especially  due to pandemic?

The global pandemic has brought in overwhelming wave of digitization and reshaped many aspects of our lives in the span of one and half years. Education is one such aspect that had to be transformed from classroom learning to online learning.

The wave of digitization was already present muchbefore the pandemic, but the pandemic just accelerated the adaptation. The knowledge landscape is no exception to this change. The global knowledge landscape is undergoing massive transformation due to the dramatic scientific and technological advances especially in the industry and how that in turn is impacting global market and consumer behavior. The pandemic in 2020 surely enforced digitization in the education framework.

Speaking in this context, Do you see online as the sole medium for academic activities?

Blended learning is more appropriate. The Teacher-student interaction is a must but the teacher can use digital aids to explain a concept in visuals rather than just words. This blended learning can be online and offline as per the situation (synchronous and asynchronous).  We can even consider online classes on couple of days a week and other days can be in school as usual.  Probably two days of online classes can save everyone travel time and reduce stress on the students and teachers. Both online and offline learning can adopt the blended learning approach Though Internet penetration in Urban and rural India is increasing, rural areas still need support for infrastructure, gadgets and others. It is important to reduce the digital divide amongst learners and ensure that every student continues learning, in spite of all odds.

True, This has been a pressing concern for many in India. How do you as an edu-entrepreneur see the solution to this problem and how does your organization Synergy Images/ ISL bring value addition to the dream of digital education in India?

Firstly, there is a pressing need to understand that learning should never stop, especially to school going students. .Teachers are foremost in training students and when they are aided with digital content options, they become fully equipped to impart quality education. Synergy images has created digital content with assessments which increase the student-teacher participation and encourages learning with proper understanding.We have pedagogical content for Math, Science and EVS for classes 1 to 12. This is suitable for CBSE, ICSE and state board syllabus. We also developcustomized content for institutions, based on request .

Last year, when the pandemic hit us, teachers had no proper orientation and training to conduct online teaching. Online teaching is a lot different from classroom teaching. Hence, wedevised a quick online teacher trainingprogramto make them super online teachers!

Another aspect is providing access to online training and making the interaction between teachers and students possible. Most state Governments provide videos of lessons using different mediums but there is no live interaction between students and teachers possible. . Synergy Images/ISLinnovated to provide a customized LMS to schools at a very affordable cost. This is to ensure that the students studying in smaller schools and Government schools did not get left out in our scheme of things. Most content companies cater to the higher income groups and the lower income group gets completely neglected. Affordability is a huge problem and more so during the hard pandemic times. Digital content creation is a very expensive proposition. But we decided to help schools with a cost effective LMS and digital content to help schools, teachers and students. We brought in a B2B model for schools and a B2C model for students. B2C is on an annual subscription basis. The content is hosted on AWS servers and is completely online. Here, the gadget costs are avoided and students can use smart phones already available with parents, in order to learn. This helps to cut costs and the end user gets the entire cost benefit.

In order to help mitigate digital divide,we have been collaborating with institutions with less resources, lack of facilities and infrastructure and helped them to continue learning and teaching and ensure there is equal opportunity for all groups.

Apart from the pandemic,New Education Policy 2020 in India brought an added wave of digital education as it emphasizes digital education as a large part of school curriculum.Do you think this is one of the reasons of the frenetic urgency of digital education amongst stakeholders and the surgeinedu-tech entities? 

NEP has emphasizedon online education in order to strengthen India’s digital education framework and address common challenges and lacunas. EduTechs have been on the rise in the past few years; the pandemic only accelerated their meteoric rise to prominence and common attention.

What is your goal for Synergy Images/ISL to contribute your share to strengthen India’s digital education framework and related concern?

Learning is a continuous process and everyone has the right to learn and we want to be part of the process to bring learning opportunities to everyone, especially economically weaker group.We are looking for cooperation and collaboration of educators/ infra giants, across the world to bring scalable virtual learning opportunities for all. We need our Government’s support to help rural students to continue learning until schools can reopen without any fear. Even afer that, online can be the tuition center for students in urban and rural India and the world at large. We are committed to making learning the integral part of every student, immaterial of their economic status and the conditions around them. We believe that if the next generation is educated, every family will be uplifted from poverty; even if only one person in a family can be educated adequately, we can see an ocean of change in the economic upliftment of the society and the country as a whole.

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Time for Outcome-based Digital Education System In India, says EdTech entrepreneur,
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In view of the situation, edu-entrepreneurs and edu-tech firms have been rethinking digital pedagogy in increasingly innovative ways to introduce engaging and outcome-based learning amongst students.
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THE POLICY TIMES
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